Friday, September 15, 2006
Pope St. Hyginus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 11

Pope St. Hyginus was pope from c. 139 - 140 AD. He was born in Athens, Greece, and during his papacy, he determined the different prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Hyginus also started the practice of including godparents at Baptism to assist the newly born during his Christian life. He also decreed that all churches be consecrated. It is rumored that he became a martyr under the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius. 


"The Church makes commemoration, today, of the holy Pope and Martyr Hyginus. He held the Apostolic Chair under the reign of Antoninus, and closed his four years’ Pontificate by martyrdom. We have no history of his life, but we venerate in him one of the links of that grand chain of Pontiffs which unites us, by St. Peter, to our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole weight of the government of the Church was upon his shoulders, and he was courageous and faithful in the discharge of his duties; his reign was during the age of Persecution, when to be Pope was to be a victim of tortures and death. As we have already said, he soon won his Palm, and was associated in heaven with the three Magi, who had, before leaving this world, preached the Gospel in Greece, the country of our Saint. Let us ask him to bless the offerings we are making to the Divine Infant of Bethlehem, and to pray for us, that we may obey this sweet King, who asks us to give him not our blood by martyrdom, but our hearts by charity."

Collect:

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Hyginus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through Our Lord . . .

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